By Michel Clasquin
1st version, August 2002


* Introduction
Theses and dissertations
Contributions to collective works
Articles in academic journals
Articles in Buddhist publications and the popular press
Miscellaneous pamphlets, newsletters and brochures
Miscellaneous articles on the Web


If this bibliography contained only publications specifically about Buddhism in South Africa, it would be a short one indeed. The study of South African Buddhism is a very recent development. For now, the researcher who is interested in the subject will have to include in his or her set of resources more general publications on Buddhism written by South African writers and researchers, among them even detractors of Buddhism from other religious perspectives. Hidden within these one can find snippets of data, or perhaps just approaches to the topic, that help to give a more complete perspective on South African Buddhism. Such sources will be included in this bibliography until it becomes unmanageably large: after that, a more purist approach may be taken by the maintainers.

Resources in Afrikaans have been supplied with an English translation of the title for the purposes of this bibliography only. Most of these translated titles have not been approved by the respective authors and are supplied only for the convenience of readers unfamiliar with the Afrikaans language.

This bibliography covers mostly the period since 1970, when Buddhism first became a visible movement in South African society and non-polemic material started to appear in South African publications. Researchers interested in earlier views and developments should consult Wratten's (1995) thesis, which deals with the earlier period in great detail.

Please send remarks and updates to this bibliography to clasqm@unisa.ac.za



Clasquin, M & Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: Unisa.

Krüger, J S 1988. Aandag, kalmte en insig : 'n uiteensetting van Theravada Boeddhistiese meditasie aan die hand van die Maha-Satipatthana-Sutta. Pretoria: Unisa (Engl: Attention, calm and insight: An explication of Theravada Buddhism as presented in the Maha-Sathipatthana-Sutta). A revised edition was published in 2000 by the Nan Hua Translation Centre, Bronkhorstspruit, under the title Die weg van meditasie : 'n vroeë Boeddhistiese handleiding, die Satipatthana-Sutta.

Krüger, J S 1989. Metatheism: Early Buddhism and traditional Christian Theism. Pretoria: Unisa.

Krüger, J S 1991. Buddhism from the Buddha to Asoka. Pretoria: Unisa.

Krüger, J S 1995. Along Edges. Religion in South Africa : Bushman, Christian, Buddhist. Pretoria: Unisa.

Krüger, J S 1999. Skep die skip leeg en ander vroeë Boeddhistiese gedigte : 'n vertaling uit Pali, van die Sutta Nipata. Pretoria: Unisa. (Engl: Baling out the boat and other early Buddhist poems: a translation, from Pali, of the Sutta Nipata).

Kruger, J S 2001. Mindfulness meditation : an early Buddhist prescription : the [Maha-] Satipatthana Sutta. Pretoria: Aurora. This is an English translation and revised version of the same author's "Aandag, kalmte en insig" (1988).

Nairn, R 1988. Diamond Mind. Psychology of meditation. Kalk Bay: Kairon.

Nairn, R 1993. Tranquil mind : an introduction to Buddhism and meditation. Cape Town: Carefour & Dragon. Also available in Afrikaans under the title 'n Stil gemoed : 'n inleiding tot die Boeddhisme en meditasie. Kalk Bay: Kairon 1997.

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Theses and dissertations

Abrahams, J P 1987. Infinite possibility as a key expectation in Descartes and Buddhism. MA (Philosophy), University of the Western Cape.

Clasquin, M 1993. Early Buddhist interpersonal ethics: the case of the Singalovada Suttanta. MA (Religious Studies), University of South Africa.

Clasquin, M 2000. Transplanting Buddhism: An investigation into the spread of Buddhism, with reference to Buddhism in South Africa. Dlitt et Phil (Religious Studies), University of South Africa.

Dimitriu, I 1993. Reconstructing the hostile space: a Zen Buddhist and psychological reading of Breyten Breytenbach's "The true confession of an albino terrorist". MA (English), University of Natal (Durban).

Du Preez, G C 1992. Oosterse denkstrukture: Madhyamika Boeddhisme in verhouding tot tradisies en tendense in Oosterse en Westerse filosofie. MA (Philosophy), University of the Orange Free State. (Engl: Estern structures of thought: Madhyamika Buddhism in relation to traditions and tendencies in Eastern and Western philosophy).

Ferreira, J 1988. Aspekte van die Judaďes-Christelike en die Boeddhistiese in die poësie van Breyten Breytenbach. PhD (Afrikaans/Nederlands), Rhodes University.(Engl: Aspects of Judeo-Christian and Buddhist traditions in the poetry of Breyten Breytenbach).

Leatt, A-M J 1995. Intrinsic patterns in the history of religious change from early Hindu traditions to contemporary Mahayana Buddhism: an application of Cumpsty's Theory of Religion. MSocSc (Religious Studies), University of Cape Town.

Le Roux, I 1991. 'Verlossing hier en nou' - Die begrip Dittha-dhamma-nibbana-vada in die Brahmajala Sutta. MA (Religious Studies), University of South Africa. (Engl: 'Salvation Here and Now' - the Concept of Dittha-dhamma-nibbana-vada in the Brahmajala Sutta )

McLeod, B R 1991. A Buddhist reading of T S . Eliot's Four Quartets. MA (English), University of Durban-Westville.

Parker G 2000. The problematic transfer of Buddhist concepts into western consumerist discource : a comparison between the use of Karma in Kulananda's Western Buddhism with the Dhammapada. MA (Religious Studies), University of the Witwatersrand.

Potgieter, I C 1979. 'n Teologies-kritiese oorsig oor die verhouding tussen Zen-Boeddhisme en die Oosterse selfverdedigingskunste. MTh (Missiology), University of Stellenbosch. (Engl: A theological and critical overview of the relation between Zen Buddhism and Eastern martial arts).

Ravgee, C L 1997. Contemporary experiences of the Buddhist meditation practice: a case-study approach. MA (Psychology), Rhodes University.

Steyn, H C 1988. Thomas Merton en Theravada-Boeddhisme: 'n vergelykende studie van religieuse ervaring. MA (Religious Studies), University of South Africa. (Engl: Thomas merton and Theravada Buddhism: a comparative study of religius experience)

Wilson, A P 1994.Verby subjek en objek: die psigologiese soteriologie van Vasubandhu, die Yogacarin, in die konteks van die Boeddhistiese leerontwikkeling in Indië. MA. (Religious Studies), University of South Africa. (Engl: Beyond subject and object: the psychological soteriology of Vasubandhu the Yogacarin in the context of the development of Buddhist doctrine in India).

Wratten, D 1995. Buddhism in South Africa: from textual imagination to contextual innovation. PhD (Religious Studies), University of Cape Town.

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Contributions to collective works

Birnbaum, R 2000. African Buddhists? Some issues in Buddhist transmission across cultures. in Clasquin, M & Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: Unisa.pp 93-110.

Clasquin, M 1992. Buddhism and Unemployment - a conceptual reappraisal of social classification systems. In Vorster, W. S. (ed.) 1992. On being unemployed and religious. Pretoria: Unisa. pp 96-106.

Clasquin, M 1993. Myth in an antimythical environment; the case of Buddhism. in Clasquin, M, Ferreira, J, Marais, D & Sadowsky, R. (eds) 1993. Myth and Interdisciplinary Research. Pretoria: Unisa, pp 66-81.

Clasquin, M 1994. Buddhist ethics and the South African situation. In De Gruchy, J W & Martin, S B (eds) 1995. Religion and Civil Society. Papers from the founding congress of the South African Academy of Religion, January 1994. Pretoria: University of South Africa.

Clasquin, M 2000. Ubuntu Dharma - Buddhism and African thought. in Clasquin, M & Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: Unisa. pp 111-123.

Clasquin, M 2002. Buddhism in South Africa. in Prebish, C S & Baumann, M 2002. Westward Dharma. Buddhism beyond Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hui Li 2000. Fo Kuan Shang in Africa: heritage and future plans. in Clasquin, M & Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: Unisa. pp 55-66.

Krüger, J S 1996. Boeddhisme: religie van die leegheid. in Meiring, P 1996. Suid-Afrika, land van baie godsdienste. Pretoria: Kagiso. pp 69-97. (Engl: Buddhism: the religion of emptiness)

Krüger, J S 1997. Section 4: Buddhism. In Kruger, J S, Lubbe, G J A & Steyn, H C 1997. The human search for meaning. Pretoria: Via Afrika.

Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism in Africa: some strategic issues. in Clasquin, M & Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: Unisa. pp 1-12.

Laue, H 2000. The Kagyu lineage tree and its branches in Southern Africa (a personal view). in Clasquin, M & Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: Unisa. pp 67-66.

Oosthuizen, G C 1993. The place and role of India's religions in Africa. In: Religious plurality in Africa; ed by J Olupona, and others.

Smith, A 2000. The role of Buddhist groups in South Africa. in Clasquin, M & Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: Unisa. pp 77-84.

Song, A 1995. Chinese religion in South Africa. In Prozesky, M & De Gruchy, J W (eds) 1995. Living faiths in South Africa. New York: St Martin's Press.

Steenberg, D H 1982. Zen-Boeddhisme. in Van der Merwe, N, De Klerk, W J & Engelbrecht, B J 1982. Navolging van Christus vandag. Potchefstroom: Institute for the Promotion of Calvinism,Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher education. pp 294-307.

Van Loon, L H 1978. Why the Buddha did not preach to a hungry man: a Buddhist view. In Nurnberger, K (ed) 1978. Affluence, poverty and the word of God. Durban: Lutheran Publishing House.

Van Loon, L H 1995.Buddhism in South Africa. In Prozesky, M & De Gruchy, J W (eds) 1995. Living faiths in South Africa. New York: St Martin's Press.

Van Loon, L H 2000. Buddhism in South Africa: its past histyory, present status and likely future. in Clasquin, M & Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: Unisa. pp 31-44.

Wratten, D 2000. Engaged Buddhism in South Africa. in Queen, C S 2000. Engaged Buddhism in the West. Boston: Wisdom. pp 446-467.

Wratten, D 2000. The Buddha of suburbia: a nineteenth-century South African imagining. in Clasquin, M & Krüger, J S 2000. Buddhism and Africa. Pretoria: Unisa. pp13-30.

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Articles in academic journals

Birnbaum, R 1997. African Buddhists? Some issues in Buddhist transmission across cultures Journal for the Study of Religion 10/2, pp 35-55.

Campbell, J M 1993. Beyond Duality: A Buddhist Reading of Bessie Head's "A Question of Power". Journal of Commonwealth Literature 28/1, pp 64-81.

Clasquin, M 1989. Paradoxical intention and Zen: new light on an old technique? Journal for the Study of Religion. 2/2. (Sept 1989) pp 49-57.

Clasquin, M 1992. Contemporary Theravada and Zen Buddhist attitudes to human sexuality: an exercise in comparative ethics. Religion. Vol. 22 pp 63-83.

Clasquin, M 1992. Why study Buddhism? Theologia Evangelica. 25/2. (Jun 1992) pp 58-63.

Clasquin, M 1993. Buddhism and human rights. Journal for the Study of Religion. 6/2. (Sept 1993) pp 91-101.

Clasquin, M 1994. Religion, ethics and communal interaction in the new South Africa - the case of the Declaration on Religious Rights and Responsibilities. Missionalia. 22/1. (April 1994) pp 13-35.

Clasquin, M 1995. Demythologisation in Axial Age India - The Singalovada Suttanta. Myth and Symbol. vol 2. (1995) pp 19-38.

Clasquin, M 1995. Buddhist Scriptures for non-Buddhists: The Pali Canon - an overview. Religion & Theology 2/2. pp 179-190.

Clasquin, M 1997. Buddhism, science and other worldviews. Scriptura vol 61 (1997) pp 139-150.

Clasquin, M 1997. Ubuntu dharma - Buddhism and African thought. Journal for the Study of Religion 10/2, September 1997. pp. 57-74.

Clasquin, M 2001. Real Buddhas don't laugh: attitudes to humour in ancient India and China. Social Identities 7:1 (2001). pp 97-116.

Chidester, D 1987. Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and others. Journal of theology for Southern Africa, no 60:81-86, Sep, 1987.

Le Roux, C du P 1994. The Other: Nagarjuna and the theologians. Religion and Theology, 1/2 pp136-143.

Krüger, J S 1988. Buddhist hermeneutics: the case of the Tevijja Sutta. Journal for the study of religion 1/1, pp 55-62.

Krüger, J S 1992. "Die wortel van alle dinge": Die vroeg-Boeddhistiese siening van die bestand van die werklikheid aan die hand van die "Mulapariyaya-sutta".Theologia evangelica; 25/2, pp 64-76. (Engl: "The root of all things": The early Buddhist view of the nature of reality according to the "Mulapariyaya-sutta").

Krüger, J S 1994. "Enkelwees": 'n vroeë Boeddhistiese gedig. Religion and theology 1/1, pp18-26. (Engl: "Solitude": an early Buddhist poem).

Le Roux, C 1997. Nagarjuna: Text and intertext. Religion and Theology, 4/1 pp35-49

Mason, G 1996. The impact of Mitra and Varuna on the development of Sunyata in Buddhism. Nidan, nr 8:34-47.

Mason, G. 1997. The 'Mahayana' expulsion out of India: A case of memic selection. Nidan, nr 9: pp33-48.

McLeod, B R 1992. Buddhism, T S Eliot and the four Quartets. Journal for the study of religion 5/1, pp 3-16.

Potter, A 1989. What do you think of these Buddhas?: the function of the Buddha in Harold Pinter's "The caretaker". South African theatre journal 3/2, pp 19-32.

Prozesky, M & Edwards, F 1986. Beyond dialogue: towards a mutual transformation of Christianity and Buddhism: two perspectives. Journal of theology for southern Africa no 56:67-73.

Sienaert, M 1993. Zen-Boeddhistiese selfloosheid as sentrale interteks van die Breytenbach-oeuvre. Literator 14/1, pp 25-45. (Engl: Zen Buddhist selflessness as central intertext of the Breytenbach corpus).

Steyn, H C 1990. The influence of Buddhism on Thomas Merton. Journal for the study of religion 3/2, pp 3-14.

Van Loon, L H 1980.The Indian Buddhist community in South Africa: its historical origins and socio-religious attitudes and practices. Religion in southern Africa. 1/1, pp:3-18.

Van Loon, L H 1983. Some Buddhist reflections on suicide. Religion in southern Africa . 4/1,pp 3-12.

Van Loon, L H 2000. Buddhism in South Africa: its past history, present status, and likely future. Emory International Law Review 14/2, Summer 2000. pp 1285-1303

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Articles in Buddhist publications and the popular press

Anonymous, 1993. No man's land: A letter from South Africa. Tricycle: the Buddhist review. 14/4 pp 64-69.

Anonymous 2001, Boeddhiste, Taipei skenk 252 rolstoele. Beeld 28 July 2001. (Engl: Buddhists, Taipei donate 252 wheelchairs)

Anonymous, 2002. Die Boeddha agter tralies. Die Burger 28 March 2002. Reprinted in Beeld 18 May 2002. (Engl: The Buddha behind bars)

Anonymous, 2002. Travelling into tranquility. Natal Witness 17 January 2002.

Donaldson, A 1996. Buddhism in Africa. Style, June 1996, pp 80-87.

Du Preez, J 1995. Is Boeddhisme ateisties? Die Kerkbode, 156/6 p5.

Hennig, W. 1994. Zen and the art of sheep farming. Sunday Times magazine March 6 1994,p 14.

Maluleke, J 1996. Black Buddhists of Bronkhorstspruit. Drum nr 215 (Oct 17 1996), pp 96-97.

Mathe, S 1996. Africa's school for monks. Pace, February 1996 pp 28-30.

Nash, J 1990. Tip of the tiger's tail: Buddhism in South Africa. Middle Way 65 (May), pp 35-39.

Orchard, M 1995. The precious one. Leadership SA 14/2, pp 70-83.

O'Toole, S 2002. Finding Buddhism in Africa. Weekly Mail & Guardian, 18 April 2002.

Parsons, M 1992. Buddhist Retreat Centre: place of quiet. Prisma 7/6, pp 6-7.

Van der Merwe, B 1997. Bronkhorstspruit en Boddhisatva. Die Voorligter; 62/8, pp 24-25, 1997

Van Loon, L H 1990. Mense is edel en waardig, sę die Boeddhis. Vrye Weekblad, 12 October 1990, pp 18-19. (Engl: People are noble and valuable, the Buddhist says).

Van Staden, A J 1988. Die Boeddhisme (1). Die Hervormer 79/10, p 10 (Engl: Buddhism part 1)

Van Staden, A J 1988. Die Boeddhisme (2): Wat is Boeddhisme? Die Hervormer 79/11, p 79 (Engl: Buddhism part 2: What is Buddhism?)

Van Staden, A J 1988. Die Boeddhisme (3): Waarop berus die Boeddha-godsdiens? Die Hervormer 79/12, p 7(Engl: Buddhism part 3: On what is the Buddha religion based?)

Van Staden, A J 1988. Die Boeddhisme (4): Verlossing op die middeweg tussen sinlike genot en asketiese selfpyniging. Die Hervormer 80/2, p 12 (Engl: Salvation on the middle way between sensual pleasure and ascetic self-mortification).

Van Staden, A J 1988. Die Boeddhisme (5): Wat leer die Boeddhisme? Die Hervormer 80/3, p 11 (Engl: Buddhism part 5: What does Buddhism teach?)

Van Staden, A J 1988. Die Boeddhisme (6): In die Boeddhisme is daar geen plek vir 'n god nie. Die Hervormer 80/4, p 1 (Engl: Buddhism part 6: In Buddhism there is no place for a god.)

Van Staden, A J 1988. Die Boeddhisme (7): Die Boeddhistiese owerheid. Die Hervormer. 80/5, p 10 (Engl: Buddhism part 7: The Buddhist authorities)

Van Staden, A J 1988. Die Boeddhisme (8). Die Twaalf beginsels van die moderne Boeddhistiese geloof. Die Hervormer 80/6, p 12 (Engl: Buddhism part 8: The twelve principles of the contemporary Buddhist faith)

Van Staden, A J 1988. Die Boeddhisme (9): Versoening onmoontlik. Die Hervormer 80/9, p 11 (Engl: Buddhism part 9: Reconiliation is impossible)

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Miscellaneous pamphlets, newsletters and brochures

Clasquin, M 1995. Sitting quietly in nature: the Buddhist Retreat Centre. Faith and Earthkeeping. Nr. 1. June 1995. pp. 6-7.

Clasquin, M 1996. Die Boeddhisme: 'n bekendstelling. Robertson: The Dharma Centre. (Engl: Buddhism: an introduction).

Clasquin, M 1997. Compassion on the Earth and its inhabitants. Faith and Earthkeeping. Nr. 11. December 1997. pp 4-5.

Dhammarakkhita [c 1997]. Insight in Japan. Pietermaritzburg: Myanmar Buddhist Association of South Africa.

Dharma Centre, 1994-present. Shuza. The newsletter of the Dharma Centre.

Meyer, J P [c 1999]. Very basic Buddhism. Cape Town: Rosebank Buddhist Group

Van Loon, M 1989. The Molly van Loon collection of Buddhist art. Pretoria: Unisa Art Gallery.

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Buddhist Retreat Centre: http://www.vanloon.co.za/brc/

Dharma Centre:http://home.worldonline.co.za/~dharmken/

Emoyeni Retreat Centre: http://emoyeni-retreat.com/

Lam Rim Centre: http://www.lamrim.org.uk/sa/

Myanmar Vihara: http://users.mweb.co.za/m/mb/mbasa/

Nan Hua Temple: http://www.nanhua.co.za

SA Karma Kagyu: http://www.buddhism.co.za/ or http://www.kagyu.co.za/

Soka Gakkai International - South Africa: http://www.sgi-sa.org.za/

Vajrapani Mahayana Buddhist Centre: http://www.geocities.com/vajrapani_za/centre.html

Vukani Meditation Centre: http://www.geocities.com/vukanimed/

See also Buddhanet's entry on Buddhist centres in South Africa

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Miscellaneous articles on the Web

Many of these are reprints of articles that originally appeared in the printed media. They are provided here mainly for ease of access.

Finding Buddha in Africa - reprinted from WM&G newspaper article by O'Toole (2002). See also this reprint.

The Buddha of Bronkhorstspruit

South Africa: Objects with soul

Dalai Lama kept waiting over meeting with South African president